How to Be with Your Mom Guilt


I have a lot of clients who are mothers (and a lot of clients who are not mothers, but are learning to mother and parent themselves for the first time in their life).

When I talk with my mother clients I often hear about “mom guilt”. What I have learned from my own journey of processing “mom guilt” (that bubbles up after working long hours, travel, or having a career that I love) is this…

When I notice myself having mom guilt its because an aspect of me is simply giving me feedback.

Everything is feedback - emotions, experiences, relationships, health, finances. Whatever is happening in your life is giving you feedback. Guilt is a healthy emotion. It is there to keep us from doing things that are harmful to ourselves and others.

When mom guilt comes up, what feedback is that giving you? Ask yourself? Ask the guilt? You have the wisdom and answers inside of you.

I’ve asked my guilt what its trying to tell me. It always replies with, “Its time to take a break, its time to be with the kids, its time to trust that everything will work out and if you don’t have the time for it all, ask for help so you can be present with your kids. Get what you need to get done and get back to your little ones.”

For you, “mom guilt” might mean its time to re-evaulate your Core Values, ask yourself some hard questions about what you really want for your life on a daily basis. Are you working long hours, hard hours to buy a big house, that will require you continue working those long hours to sustain and pay a big mortgage. Is that really what you want for your life and your kids lives? It can be hard to look at the deeper truth.

Trust me. I’ve been there.

But having experienced a near death experience as a teen, a lot of death and grief in my life has right sized my priorities. Also, being a single mother allowed me to see that I can have balance of work, purpose and family.

I encourage you to look at the way you were raised and investigate what beliefs you operate from based on that experience. What you experienced as a child will fall into one of three categories.

  1. You valued your own childhood and want to recreate that.

  2. You did not value your own childhood and want to do the opposite.

  3. You did and did not value different aspects of your childhood and you create your own version.

I was raised by a mom that didn’t work outside the home until I was a teen, and didn’t take time for herself (from my perspective). I wanted a lot of what she did do as a mom, and I wanted a lot of new experiences and beliefs around working outside the home and taking time for self. What I learned as a mom was I needed to discover my own unique belief system and flow. I love working (in balance). It allows me to connect with my higher self which helps me be a better mom.

Here are my favorite tips for moms and “mom guilt”:

  1. Don’t Compare and Despair - Often times we look at what other women and moms are doing, and we unconsciously compare or force ourselves to be like them when its not who we are.

  2. Clarify your Core Values - I have a free Core Values exercise, download here. Get clear on what is most important to you and then implement ways of doing that on a daily basis.

  3. Support Mothers - We all have our own unique expression. Let’s support the moms. It doesn’t mean you have to be friends with them. Its about honoring and loving all moms. When we do, that energy comes back to us because its how we are vibrating inside with ourselves.

Use all of your experiences and emotions as feedback. Even if it is difficult, it is equally empowering.

With love, Gwen